Acute gastritis is a sudden inflammation of the lining of the stomach.
Acute gastritis may be caused by:
- Certain medications
- Eating or drinking corrosive substances
- Extreme physiological stress
Acute gastritis is often associated with a severe, acute illness, or trauma. The following increase your risk of acute gastritis:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use (NSAIDs)
- Recent heavy alcohol use
- Major surgery
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Respiratory failure
- Dark stools
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
Exams and Tests
Tests that may be done to diagnose acute gastritis include:
- CBC (shows anemia)
- Stool guaiac
- Upper GI and small bowel series
Treatment depends on the cause of the gastritis. Antacids or other medications to decrease or neutralize gastric acid in the stomach will usually eliminate the symptoms and promote healing. Medications that cause gastritis should be discontinued. A gastric ulcer may be present, requiring treatment.
Gastritis due to stress is best treated by prevention. Medications to decrease gastric acid production such as proton pump inhibitors should be given to stressed hospital patients.
Most gastritis improves rapidly with treatment.
A potential complication is a severe loss of blood.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of gastritis persist longer than 2 or 3 days. Call your health care provider if you vomit blood or have bloody stools.
Control of risk factors may play a preventative role. For example, not using or minimizing use of NSAIDs and alcohol.
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